Tuesday, July 13, 2004

BSE

shocking:

The United States is neglecting to test the majority of cattle most at risk of having mad cow disease, government investigators said on Tuesday. U.S. Department of Agriculture investigators said the USDA was not testing adult cattle that died on the farm and had failed to test hundreds of cattle condemned due to possible central nervous system disorder -- a symptom of mad cow disease and many other diseases. "The problems identified during our review, if not corrected, may ... reduce the credibility of any assertion regarding the prevalence of BSE in the United States," said the USDA's Office of Inspector General. A draft report was provided by the House of Representatives Government Reform Committee. The report said the USDA failed to test 518 of the 680 cattle condemned at slaughter for central nervous system symptoms between fiscal 2002 and 2004. Those symptoms indicate an animal could be suffering from one of several illnesses, including mad cow disease.
House hearing tomorrow.

And, while you were out, the FDA dropped the ball again on ruminant feed.

clarification: Of course, this is not really shocking: any who's been paying attention has known about this for months, if not years. Still, the sad truth is that the OIG deserves credit for actually reaching the obvious conclusions, considering how much bullshit has been emanating from other sectors of the USDA. The draft report, courtesy of Rep. Waxman, is here [pdf], and Mike Lee's Bee article about it is here. No news yet on the hearing, but you should be able to find the video here.

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